new wine in old wineskins ; new wine in old bottles; old wine in new wineskins; old wine in new bottles

new wine in old wineskins
new wine in old bottles

to present a new idea as if it were old or traditional

old wine in new wineskins
old wine in new bottles

to present an old idea as if it were new and original
—When the editors decided to switch the newspaper from print to online, they promised an improvement in content, but I think it’s just old wine in new wineskins.

When some followers of John the Baptist asked Jesus why his disciples did not follow the Jewish practice of frequent fasting, Jesus replied that his new message could not be limited by old traditions. He said this using some images familiar to his audience:

No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, because the patch will pull away from the garment and the tear will be worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins [new wine into old bottles]; otherwise the skins burst and the wine is spilled out and the skins are destroyed. Instead they put new wine into new wineskins and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:16,17)

While the King James translation has the wine stored in “bottles,” more modern translations replace bottles with wineskins. The meaning is that a leather bag, when it becomes old and stiff, can no longer be used to hold new wine, because the fermenting wine will burst the container. While putting “old wine in new wineskins” wouldn’t be a problem, that variation has become a phrase in modern English as well.

Advertisements
Previous Post
Comments are closed.
  • All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://bible.org. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

    Scripture in brackets is from the King James Bible.

  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed by Craig Thompson under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

    Any reproduction of this content using passages from the NET Bible must follow NET Bible's copyright policy for use of those passages.

    For information on creating translations of Putting Words in Our Mouths, please go here.

  • Visit My Blog: Clearing Customs

    Balloons, 2, 3, 4

      “The Big Read: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Classic Science Fiction” After the Montgolfier Brothers made their first balloon flight in 1783, balloons became all the rage and for the next half century almost all lunar flights [portrayed in science fiction] were by balloon. The first was Le Char Volant [The Flying […]

    Ben Schott’s Fremdwortschöpfungen: Creating Words for Wordless Things

    I like making up new words and phrases for things as yet unnamed. But I’ve found it’s easier to come up with unnamed things than it is to name them. British author Ben Schott has solved this problem by making up simple English labels and then exotifying them by translating them into German. Thus, his Eisenbahnscheinbewegung, […]

  • Advertisements